Dan Donati is Director of Sales – Western Region for The Deondo Company, home of the Nook Event Pod. For the past 24 years, Dan has been involved in events and conference production for industries including automotive, telecom, home entertainment, direct marketing and recreational vehicles.
How Much Does Your Attendees’ Happiness Mean to You?
How much does your audience’s happiness mean to you? It turns out that attendee satisfaction is an important factor that is too often overlooked by measuring only exhibitor feedback or not asking the right questions on attendee satisfaction surveys.
Events are at least a grueling 2-3 days with constant mental stimulation, lively conversations that cause voices to crack and literally miles of walking. And while attendees are tasked with the sales, promotional or operational goals they have for attending the event, they still need to check in to the day-to-day work and put out the fires that are happening back at the office.
So where do your attendees go to recharge or catch up on work? A park bench in the exhibit hall or the edge of a planter in the lobby? Maybe the food area tables that are littered with poacher’s brochures or leftover lunch trash? Or how many times have you seen attendees sitting on the floor against a wall when that is the only plug they could find? The worst case scenario…they go off-site completely, back to their room or a coffee shop or bar to simply sit down and recharge or grab a drink with someone since they can’t find a quick and easy place to sit at the convention venue.
It’s clear that attendees need places that are comfortable and convenient to catch up, recharge and reconnect. Many organizers have found that creating lounge areas with some chairs and maybe a table nearby with charging stations for phones help meet this need.
Instead of filling in unsold space with standard tables and chairs and calling it a lounge, consider planning for this space in advance. Find some interesting ways to make it interactive, inviting and fun. Make it comfortable and inviting and offer easy access to power for charging phones and laptops. Look for ways to provide a sense of privacy for both attendees and exhibitors to take that call from the doctor or spouse or have a separate conversation outside the booth without having to leave the show floor.
Look for solutions that are fun, visually appealing and brandable. Add some features to keep people around like a sponsored coffee bar or grab-and-go snacks and a comfortable place to sit and enjoy them. Give sponsors an opportunity to speak to the attendees while they are using the lounge through video content or branded seating. What better space to promote an industry agnostic company like a financial, insurance or technology company while attendees and other exhibitors are taking a break?
While some of the standard sponsorship options such as charging stations never seem to get sold due to being tired or frankly cheap-looking with a table, power strip and sign nearby for the sponsor, there are other relaxation solutions that can provide a much more enjoyable experience.
Look for portable, sound-dampening and comfortable solutions that will not only get used but also speak to the emotional needs of attendees. Go deeper in looking at solutions that will enhance the attendee experience and get them to appreciate and remember your event for caring enough to provide thoughtful, productive and fun places to relax, recharge and meet.